Pregame notes: Sox ready for doubleheader

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Pregame notes: Sox ready for doubleheader

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

DETROIT The Red Sox are scheduled to play their first doubleheader of the season -- weather permitting. Their last split doubleheader was Oct. 2, 2010 -- the penultimate day of the season -- against the Yankees, with the teams splitting the twinbill.

Right-hander Clay Buchholz will start the early game for the Sox, with lefty Andy Oliver making his first start of the season for the Tigers. Right-hander Josh Beckett and Justin Verlander will start the second game.

Manager Terry Francona has lineups ready for both games, with the second game in pencil, in case something happens in the first game. Francona plans to play Dustin Pedroia in both games, but will make adjustments, if necessary.

Kevin Youkilis will serve as the designated hitter in the first game. It is the fourth time Youkilis will DH this season. He also served as the DH facing lefties on April 12 against the Rays David Price; April 20, the As Gio Gonzalez; and May 7, the Twins Brian Duensing, (he later moved to third base).

The next step for Marco Scutaro, who has been sidelined since May 8 with a left oblique strain, is to take batting practice on the field. He has been hitting off a tee and in the cage. Before he can progress to the field, though, he needs to be examined by team medical director, Dr. Tom Gill, which will take place Monday, when the Sox return to Fenway.

Bobby Jenks, who has been on the DL since May 2 with a biceps strain, is scheduled to pitch an inning in a rehab assignment for Pawtucket today. He could be activated this week.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is on schedule to visit Dr. Lewis Yokum in Los Angeles on Tuesday to get a second opinion on his right elbow. He is still in Japan, but has been in contact with trainer Mike Reinold. Francona said Matsuzaka is feeling better daily and his range of motion is good. The hope is still that Matsuzaka can get his elbow back to full strength through rehab, avoiding surgery.

MaureenMullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.